Netflix Talks HTML5-based Mobile Testing on Android

19 03 2013

DSC01749In a recent article posted by Amol Ker of Netflix, he shared his struggles with performing device testing of their mobile apps and websites. Since they operated on a hybrid approach using HTML5 based coding. In the article Amol shared the following “when Netflix decided to enter the Android ecosystem, we faced a daunting set of challenges: a) We wanted to release rapidly every 6-8 weeks, b) There were hundreds of Android devices of different shapes, versions, capacities and specifications which need to playback audio and video and c) We wanted to keep the team small and happy. Of course, the seasoned tester in you has to admit that these are the sort of problems you like to wake up to every day and solve. Doing it with a group of other software engineers who are passionate about quality is what made overcoming those challenges even more fun.”

He continues… “To put device diversity in context, we see almost around 1000 different devices streaming Netflix on Android every day. We had to figure out how to categorize these devices in buckets so that we can be reasonably sure that we are releasing something that will work properly on these devices.”

And later mentions “We keep our team lean by focusing our full time employees on building solutions that scale and automation is a key part of this effort. ”

Netflix’ issues are not new and are not specific to Netflix. Anyone looking to test their apps or websites MUST perform real-world, real device testing before release AND after it’s launched to support forthcoming updates. Netflix has chosen a way that works for them that has potential flaws, in that it can easily miss most of the device OS ecosystem if they don’t test on a certain device or platform. And as budgets and efficient-driven teams demand, utlizing mobile test automation software is key to their strategy.

Keynote, with it’s acquisition of DeviceAnywhere has developed several tools to address these issues helping thousands of companies become more efficient and enabling them to centralize their testing efforts while maintaining dispersed, cost-efficient development teams around the world. With DeviceAnywhere Test Planner, QA managers and developers can get free assistance on determining which devices they should test on that will provide them the widest coverage while testing on the lowest number of devices, providing the ultimate in efficiency and planning of any new rollout.

deviceanywhere_device_planner Keynote also offers automated mobile testing with it’s TCE – Automation platform – leveraging the latest HTML5 web-based coding for ease-of-use giving you the flexibility of running the same test across any HTML5-enabled device or tablet. No more need to ship devices around or leverage agent-based systems whereby one does not get a true experience from the consumer’s perspective, resulting in potential pitfalls for the developer and in result potentially affecting revenues.


Humana Leads the Way in Testing HTML5 Web Apps ensuring the Highest Quality of Apps on the Marketing

9 10 2012

Keynote Systems announced today that Humana is using Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere platform for native and web testing of their mobile apps and websites. Humana required a solution for testing mobile apps and websites, to ensure their patients’ continued, reliable access to healthcare information.  Humana wanted a testing environment that would enable them to test HTML5, hybrid and web apps and websites, and provide them with real-time results and measurement statistics.  Humana, with a customer base of over 11 million in the US, almost $40M in revenue and over 40,000 employees, has been at the forefront of ensuring that its customers have access to the information they need across every mobile platform. Click here to read more.

2010 Predictions: It’s All About the Consumer, Right?

24 12 2009

You don’t have to look too far to find companies’ and journalists’ prognostications about what will happen in the mobile industry in 2010.  For instance, Wireless Week took a serious stab at peering into the crystal ball with their Trends for 2010 article, while FierceWireless’ Lynette Luna poked some fun at it with a playfully acerbic post on December 21: “A Peek at Wireless Executives’ Christmas Wishlists”.

But we didn’t see too many predictions about how consumers will benefit from all the launches and technological advancements in our industry. After all, customers are the ultimate decision-makers for every mobile app we test and deploy; every app store the carriers and device manufacturers launch; and every smartphone and device that hit the market and sizzles (…or fizzles).

So…we’re lighting up the holiday spirit with the gift of good news for consumers everywhere.  Here are our predictions about how everyday people will benefit in 2010 from our industry’s hard work and innovation:

  • mHealth Helps Consumers Take Their Health into their Own Hands—While the monolithic debate continues in Congress over the national healthcare plan, healthcare organizations and independent developers such as EOS Health and Sensei are launching all flavors of innovative mobile apps that enable consumers to proactively manage their own physical fitness, whether it’s alerting them to take their insulin or helping them make healthy eating choices at point of purchase.  In the same way that mBanking has helped us manage our financial health, the new crop of mHealth apps are helping us manage the most important health of all…our own physical wellbeing.
  • Choosing a Mobile Phone will Get Easier—Sometimes “too much choice” can be a bad thing, making it confusing and overwhelming for consumers to select the handset they want from a plethora of carriers and manufacturers.  It’s becoming increasingly important now that smartphone functionality is becoming so sophisticated and feature-rich—you have to see them to believe them.  Thankfully, some operators are ramping their efforts to help educate consumers by embracing technologies that allow people to “try before they buy.”  Instead of providing static pictures and lists of features, this technology allows people to test-drive the devices—and see just what it looks like and how it functions in the real-world—through the Internet from the convenience of their home computer or at carriers’ in-store kiosks.  Pretty soon, “try before you buy” will mean a whole lot more than simply checking out your friends’ phones.
  • Watch out iPhone, There’s a New Kid in Town—As we mentioned in our November 13 post, handsets built on the Android operating system have been around for over a year, but they haven’t “wowed” consumers enough to pose a serious challenge to Apple….until now.  Last month, GigaOm reported in November that nearly 250,000 Motorola Droids were sold by Verizon in the first week of its US launch, making it the fastest-selling Android device sold to date.  And now that the handset is making its way around the globe, Motorola predicts it will sell a million units by the end of 2009.  There’s wind in the sails of Android, and hearty market competition is good news for consumers everywhere.
  • An App Store Avalanche?  It’s Only Just Begun. Apple announced last month that they have more than 100,000 apps in the iTunes store now, up from 10,000 a year ago (annual growth of 900%).  And now, analyst firm IDC predicts that there will also be 50,000–75,000 new Android applications this year alone.  Consumers should expect mobile apps and app stores to multiply in triple-digit growth thanks to Android’s advantage as an open platform, and application testing solutions that simplify and speed deployment so developers can focus on making innovative, cool new apps that all of us will enjoy. Still haven’t seen all the apps that really compel you to fill your phone with downloads?  Don’t worry—you will.


mHealth at CTIA: All the Rage for All the Right Reasons

22 10 2009

For the past few years, I’ve watched mHealth take over the spotlight from mBanking, which for so many years helped drive the mobile app revolution, garnering a lionshare of media and analyst attention as financial institutions across the board– Bank of America, HSBC, the NYSE and third party enablers like Mobile Money Ventures—took their services to the small screen.

When it comes down to it, mHealth’s mobile app needs aren’t terribly dissimilar to those of mBanking, or any other industry for that matter.  They want guaranteed reliability, security, speed of deployment, and reduced development costs (as compared to in-house)…and basically fewer headaches.  Pretty much what all developers and enterprises want from their mobile apps, right?

I think the main difference is their need for unrelentingly consistent QoS.  While an entertainment app developer would agree on the importance of minimized downtime, consider how vital it is for an mHealth company like Sensei—one of the four new healthcare customers we announced at CTIA.  Members rely on their mobile programs for critical reminders to take their medications or make on-the-spot decisions related to healthy eating choices.  These apps are affecting people’s lives in a real way.  Not a lot of room for error without potentially grave repercussions.  Or something you want to send out into the world without 100% satisfaction that the testing and monitoring has been relentlessly thorough and rigorous.

I really enjoyed the dialogue around mHealth at CTIA IT & Wireless a few weeks ago, where the topic now merits its own conference track altogether.  In the keynote, CTIA’s Steve Largent announced the results of a consumer health survey they conducted with Harris Interactive that was chock full of new stats confirming consumers’ hunger for mobile healthcare (check out the FierceWireless for the full recap).

Most memorable was the comment from Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs, who said the wireless industry will get the greatest growth thrust from the applications that most benefit society and improve humanity.  It’s the kind of statement that makes you pause, and catapults your thoughts out of the weeds of the day-to-day.  A ticker tape ran through my mind of the hundreds of developers and companies we’re working with—in or out of mHealth– who are doing exactly that in their own unique ways.  We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of how mobile apps can benefit people’s lives, and I’m energized by the prospect of what innovative, life-enriching new apps we’re going to help companies launch tomorrow.

P.S.  If you’re following mHealth, bookmark or RSS mobihealthnews. I had the pleasure of reconnecting at CTIA with friend and industry vet Brian Dolan who recently left telecom titan FierceWireless to launch this indispensible online trade pub for the healthcare industry.  Good stuff.  Check it out.